Prokofiev Piece for Harp

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    I have worked on Piece for Harp on and off over the last twenty years, trying to work out a way to make it sound clearly. I have finally solved it, I think, and identified a few misprints in the music.

    It can be played as edited by Dulova, but it results in pedal noise, and it can be more clear.

    In the first two measures, I play the bottom G of the right hand chords with the left hand, so the left hand fingerings are 24, 124, 24, 124. In the third measure, I play the bottom notes of the ascendhing right hand chords with left thumb, so left goes 24, 1, 124, 1 and I double the d-natural in the bass with the thumb so that chord is 124. I do this because the d-natural in the bass sounds unclear and muddy, and adding the octave above clarifies it. I play the following C with my thumb and muffle the strings below it, so the right hand is playing 4321, playing the G of the left hand. In the fourth measure, I again double the d-natural with the octave above, and not a C which is already present in the right hand. That C could be a misprint, or at least a miscalculation of the harp’s sonority.

    By the way, my harp is very even, with a fulsome sound, so it is a good instrument on which to measure the voicings. As I have addressed this piece over a twenty-year period, it has also been the period of maturing of my harp, which is highly praised by all.

    In measure nine, the first C in the right hand should read C-natural. Now the middle section of the piece is very repetitive, so it creates precedents for itself.


    P.S. Prokofiev used harp quite extensively in his orchestral music. While certain works of his are well-known, he wrote many more which are not and bear investigating. I have found his music to be exquisite, and unique in style. The more I listen to, the more I appreciate his unique approach and his rich colors. It has helped clarify the style of the Piece for harp very much, as it is so different from the Prelude in C. He was one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, and in terms of continuous growth, I would dare say more so than Stravinsky, whose music became more and more arid and devoid of interest overall, to my taste. If I were to say Prokofiev was the greatest of the Soviet composers, it would not be to detract any from Shostakovich, whose music I love, so perhaps I won’t say it, but they are certainly equals. But who wrote more for harp? Prokofiev. No solos from Shostakovich.

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